Tuesday, March 4, 2014

News: AMRC apprentices work on employability skills

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Apprentices at the AMRC Training Centre in Rotherham have been taking part in an innovative employability programme to compliment their training in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

The £20.5m centre is part of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP), where the focus is on providing the skills that manufacturing companies need to compete globally.

In partnership with Work-Wise, the employability programme is aimed at giving their apprentices a wider understanding of industry and essential business skills. This will ensure that they become an indispensable employee to their companies and develop the skills and attributes needed for a successful career in the manufacturing industry.

The pilot of the programme was delivered to Tata and AESSEAL apprentices at the end of last year. Over four days, the apprentices explored theoretical concepts including learning styles and team dynamics. There was also a strong focus on developing practical employability skills such as presentation, innovation and problem solving skills, as well as techniques for performance management.

On each day, the apprentices had the opportunity to apply their theoretical learning to a practical project such as designing the new Training Centre education room. At the end of the week the apprentices were encouraged to reflect on what they had learnt.

Madeleine Kearny, first year apprentice at AESSEAL, said: "I have learnt that I am both a visual and kinesthetic learner. In a team I play the part of a team player and implementer. During the week with Work-Wise I showed resilience, critical thinking, team-working and problem solving skills."

On the final day of the employability programme the apprentices visited Cutlers Hall, discovering the history of apprenticeships and the significance of the manufacturing sector to Sheffield.

Overall the employability programme was very well received by the apprentices, with first year apprentice Sam Eccles saying: "I enjoyed the employability course and I would recommend it to other colleagues as it helps bring out qualities in you and helps identify areas that need to be worked on to improve yourself as an employee."

John Barber of Work-Wise added: "We've had a great few days with the apprentices who have thrown themselves into all the activities and tasks we have given them. Some of the tasks have been outside their comfort zone and new to them, but this has not dampened their enthusiasm and effort. If these 20 apprentices are an example of those entering the industry, then the future in this region is in safe hands."

AMRC Training Centre website
Work-Wise website

Images: AMRC Training Centre

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